Think about it… “No weapon formed against me will prosper…” What does this really mean? Of course there are the spiritual weapons… trials, temptation, deception… but the verse doesn’t say, “no SPIRITUAL weapon formed against you will prosper,” it says, … Continue reading
to look; to direct your eyes toward something or someone, to think about a situation or subject carefully, to closely examine, a visual search or examination.
to approach;to come near to in quality, character, time or condition, to come within range.
recompense; make amends for loss or harm suffered, to compensate, compensation or reward given for loss or harm suffered.
Holy Spirit, how many wonders do you have? How can I possibly praise you enough for the miracles I have seen with my own eyes? You have made the impossible a reality, brought dreams to life and in miraculous ways You have protected those who know and love You. I have only to look back over my brief life to see the events that betray Your hand at work on my behalf, protecting me from dangers, sickness and even death. You have surrounded me, enveloped me and encased me in Your very presence. Though many have fallen prey and some have passed away, You have kept Your steadfast hand upon me. Lord, please, wake up the ones You love, who listen to Your voice, rise up in us the voice to call out for those who do not yet know the protection and healing, the life and power, You afford us at our invitation. Give us the voice and the faith to stand in Your grace and to pull others in with us, to know and to love You. Thank You for Your faithful action at the promise of Your Word. That those who turn away from sin, the arrogance of hurting others for the sake of selfish gain, the arrogance of our own understanding and pride in our own achievements without acknowledgement of You, of foolishness and ignorance; they are securely protected in You. Teach us all to know You, and to love like You so that we are all covered in Your promise. Amen.
“A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not approach you. You will only look on with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked.”
To dwell; live in or at a specified place, to think, speak or write at length about.
Shelter; a place to live, receive protection and food.
To abide; accept or act in accordance with.
Shadow; area where direct light cannot reach due to an obstruction.
Lord Jesus, You are magnificent, mighty and strong. Thank you for what you accomplished in your life on this earth, in your Word, and in your death on my behalf. Thank you for returning to us Holy Spirit, dwelling among us still, as power, comfort, peace, strength, portion, life and love. You set up each day for me in accordance with what is good and what will bring the best in my present and future reality. You lead me through my day with every protection and nurturing I need and you hover over me with your presence, never leaving me. You are formidable, my aly and my counsel. So long as I constantly return to you, I am kept from harm and given promotion in every good way. As I accept your wisdom, your leading and learn to discern your dialect, I am protected as you obstruct every effort of those who desire to cause me harm, to steal, kill and destroy what is good in my life. As I develop patience and as I yield to your plans, despite what I lack in understanding, I learn that you are trustworthy and you work on my behalf. I am safe when I know your presence and ways in my life and when I do and speak according to your Word. Amen.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty, I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!'”
I can hear it…. my fingers feel it… a melody, and a song written somewhere just beyond my reach.
My fingers touch the keys. Stiff. Longing. Untrained. Aching…
So many things well up within me. Things I don’t have the words to speak, or to write. Wonderful things. Mourning things. Things heavy with both joy and sorrow; the ache of loss a friend has to face… the triumph of a victory for a family member… desperation for one to understand and another to find relief, to find escape. To speak to all the love that is power, compassion, comfort and strength. To say clearly the perfect words each ear needs to hear, each heart needs to feel… to know.
I will my fingers to fly over the keys, to pen out the things I contain deep inside, to reach the impossible depths and retrieve the unknown language locked away… Literally just beyond my grasp!
There is mercy, favor unmerited, and grace, the power to be what we cant possibly… the link is belief. The key is faith. The force is love. And it is right here… right here.
And so, I lift my hands and rest my palms. I pray. I lift my heart’s cry to the One who hears, who knows without being told, who understands that language I cannot fathom, and who has all the answers. I pray. And I pray. And I pray.
The tears run for those who are hurting. Praises leave my lips for those who are rejoicing. A silencing ache fills my chest for those who are suffering. And for those who are lost, loosing their way… for them I let out a shout. A plea. A sound in the dark, in hopes their ears might hear and they might know they are not alone. Not even close to being alone.
I see their faces. Many I know. Many I love. Some I’ve never seen before. For everyone I let my heart speak… His words covering my own, His thoughts reaching the depths of emotion, His love flowing farther than I can imagine…
In this way, together, His hands over mine, we write the melodies and we sing the songs that bring the changes we long to see.
Holy are You, Lord. Holy are You! Above all else, and every other name. You are I AM, the One who cares. The One who loves. The One who saves. Mighty is Your name. You are like no other. Mighty is Your name!
In the background are the faded noises of busy laughter, the business of getting dinner on the table, dishes unloaded, and the day’s events downloaded by each tiny muffled voice.
A heart beat thrums steadily in my ears.
Beautiful. Life. Steady.
A grounded, rhythmic lifeline to all that seems so incredibly important, and so indefinably fragile… a heartbeat thrums steadily in the silence…
The flutter in my chest rises. I should be with them. Did I tell them I love them today? Did I yell at them too much? Do they know that I love them? What memories have we made? Will they remember that I love them? Does he know how grateful I am? Will he know how much I love him? Does he know how important he is to me? More muffled laughter and clinking plates…
Anxiety flitters around, searching for a place to land… NO. I breath in. I breath out.
A grounded, rhythmic lifeline to all that seems so incredibly important, and so indefinably fragile… a heartbeat thrums steadily in the silence… refusing a resting place for anxiety.
I breath in. I breath out. A heart beat thrums steadily in my ears. But one persistent question looks for a spot to land…
Am I doing enough?
My Bible and three books that I long to read lay tossed around me. My journal just a few inches away. Tears roll down my cheeks as I realize how much I long to do more, to soak up more, to understand more and to live from a depth that draws my family in… to envelope them in the same love and life that has begun to consume me. I long for my husband to know how truly head-over-heals in love with him I am; to show him every day the love that builds him up and pulls him closer, always closer. To shower my children with adoration in measure with the miracles that they are.
Longing. Is it all just a longing?
A stream of scenes roll across my mind as this questions looms larger than life. Feelings… less than loving… rush like rapids over my lungs, and I am gasping and choking on the tears as I recall words, thoughts, attitudes, emotions, all proving me to be completely lacking. Failing.
For a fleeting moment I am trapped in this tug-of-war with anxiety…
The rhythm… steady… beautiful… life. I breath in. I breath out.
Life steadily pounds in my ears. I hear my name. Just a whisper. A life-line.
What do you want to say, Lord?
“Daughter, you measure up. You do enough. You are amazing in My eyes. I am pleased. So much more than you know, Child. I love that you are here, with Me. Waiting, listening. Daughter, you are forever searching out My thoughts, seeking My heart. I know your deepest desires and I love you for them. Daughter, you treasure Me and what I think. You keep Me in the center of all you do, even when you forget, you are quick to remember. I look at you and I see Perfection. Thank you for coming away. Thank you for valuing Me enough to step into the quiet places, to trust Me with the welfare of those babies I knit together. Thank you for loving Me. You are enough.”
In the quiet, steady, silence I can hear it. His heart beating; beating steadily for me.
Beautiful life; His living in me, His power at work through me, on my behalf.
Almost two years ago a friend gave me a profound word. “Coffee depletes the vitamins and minerals in our bodies and often leaves you feeling more tired than before you had a cup. It can leave you feeling achy and … Continue reading
With the children tucked into bed and the tea steeped and steaming, the house quiet and the heat filtering through vents, I peak out the window. Frost is already visible, glinting silver on blades of dying grass and bare twigs in naked trees.
The moon is low and and full, as if the light it carries is a heavy weight tonight.
Below the fog is lifting up from the wetlands and the evergreens on the foothills across the fields appear black and dense, with the flickering train light dancing airily through the bends over the river’s bridge, into the open for a moment, then back into dense black.
These moments, alone in my room after hours of being surrounded by people, these moments are the most precious and the most daunting. In the quiet I see the faces of those I’ve smiled at, loved on and been loved by, spoken to… I see their eyes… and I see so much more.
I see the weight of life, the struggling words within.
I see joy, I see futures and hope.
I hear words. Words that they shared, these beautiful people. Words accounting for things I’ve seen, and words hiding the things behind their eyes… words of secret pleading. Words of truth and words of masked uncertainty. Insecurity and expectation blend together as, in the silence, these words refill my ears.
Then the Lord invites me in.
It’s a place that inhabits my room, and opens up from within my mind; a peeling back of a veil and a stepping through in thought that I can feel in the air I sit in and draw breath from. Into this place I carry all these wonderful people, their eyes and their words. Everything that I have seen, I bring here.
Face to face and side by side, His arm around me, His presence pressing lightly down, surrounding me. I know the sound of His voice so clearly and it brings a soothing calm. I used to come here dressed in armor, ready to do battle in His name. What silly girl I was! Like going to bed with shoes on, is how I would enter this secret, intimate place.
Now, we sit in the quiet together. He already knows everything that I come to Him with. He knows each and every name, has seen each and every eye and heard each and every word. It was at His invitation that I was able to see; and together we speak the necessary words back, the healing words, the cleansing words. Words of comfort, of hope and of acceptance that each one needs. At times He invites me to pick up pen and paper and write a note that He speaks to one or another. At times I read His Word instead, and occasionally speak it out loud, back to Him. And sometimes we simply weep together, for there are some things that no words can heal.
I feel His heart beat, He is that close, and I know His smile, the astounding love in His eyes that breaks with the gut wrenching pain of some whom we have seen and heard. I have seen His jealousy, and know His patience well. His compassion is endless, His kindness so immense.
Every moment we are together changes me.
Every moment spent in His presence within this secret space fills me with something I cannot explain. I carry it back with me. Peace. Grace. Understanding? Thanksgiving. Humility. Adoration…
And before drifting off to sleep I often hear, “Thank you, Child,” and I feel the gentle embrace of His presence enfolding me within His love.
“I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.” Mark 11:24
“Surly the Lord has done great things! Don’t be afraid, my people. Be glad now, and rejoice, for the Lord has done great things.” Joel 2:21
There are a lot of things going right in my life at the moment. I have a few questions, and a couple pretty big decisions that have to be made. And, of course there are things that could be easier. However, today I can easily agree that the Lord has done great things!
But there were times in my life when things haven’t gone well – in fact, a lot worse than now. Times when we lost a close family member, had to say good-bye to soon to an unborn babe, watched hopes die slowly before our eyes, spent months unemployed and then months under-employed. Days when we feared for the life of yet another unborn child… days of total and utter chaos, fear and even anger. And, in those days I saw as far as ahead as my fear would let me; what next impending disaster awaits us?
This call in Joel 2:21, to remember that the Lord has done great things, to be glad “now” and to rejoice, came on the heals of a prophecy of devastation and a call to repentance from the Lord’s people. It seems to be an instruction on how His people should respond to His promise of restoration, after He explained what would take place as a result of their evil. The Lord’s people sinned, stubbornly refused to acknowledge their sin, hurt each other and caused natural consequences to follow in the wake of their choices. The Lord called to them, begged them to return to Him and to stop the evil that ran rampant among them. They refused, and He had to respond. One final attempt to get their attention; a prophecy of impending disaster, another invitation to choose Him, and a reminder that He has already done great things.
Isn’t this how He still works today? In the midst of all that goes on – every stress, disaster, chaos, and evil deed done to us or by us, He calls to us, still speaking through prophecies, through the quiet whisper of the Holy Spirit, through events and people… every way possible. And He still says, “Surely I have done great things! Don’t be afraid. Be glad now.”
And, honestly, what better way to get my head out of the fear and the muck of life in the moments of dispare than to remember, and in remembering to be glad, to rejoice? To take my eyes off of my circumstances, off of myself, and set them on the One who has already accomplished great things on my behalf.
It seems that it is in the midst of the worst moments in life that it is the best time to hear, “Surely the Lord has done great things! Don’t be afraid. Be glad now and rejoice, for the Lord has done great things.” Not only for us to remember all He has already done, but for us to anticipate the things He has set in motion on our behalf which we have yet to see. It is only when we can take our eyes off the pain and trouble that we begin to see Him, to see His love.
The only reason things are going so well now in my life, is because of things He set in motion for us long before we were ever in our moments of utter chaos. I can see that now. But had I been glad then, for these things, before I’d seen them, I would have been living out of faith. (Heb. 11:1)
And isn’t that the very mark of those who love Him?
In the Bible God simply speaks (sometimes just breathes!) and it happens. Life as we know it, people healed, people raised from the dead, trees withering… all with the breath of a word.
The Holy Spirit woke me up this morning for an amazing time of ministering to my son and husband through words. And it struck me during this time, how incredibly meaningful each and every word is. How each word has the power to bring life, to put to death, to cause emotion and to put into effect whatever it’s meaning is.
I heard a sermon recently sharing that God takes complaining very seriously. When the Israelites complained in the desert, what was a 2 week journey ended up becoming 40 years, until the complainers died out. God waited until those who did not keep watch over their words were dead. And with each person noted in the Bible, He interacted with them according to the words they spoke, or didn’t speak.
Words impart a reflection of what is within. If you find you aren’t where you want to be, or feel like life is miserable, unfair, or just simply tough, I suggest listening to the words you speak. Chances are, you are speaking your circumstances into being, and more likely, what you are speaking out is what is going on inside you. If you take head to the words you speak and pay attention to where they are coming from, you may find your circumstances change dramatically.
What standard are you living by? What do you measure yourself against? When you look into the mirror, what do you see? How do you feel? What do you allow to influence your life? Question I am confronted by today. … Continue reading